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Dark for almost two years, Ellen Theatre in Bozeman reopens with 'A Christmas Carol'

Courtesy Ellen Theatre
"A Christmas Carol" was last performed at the Ellen Theatre in Bozeman in December 2019. The cast this year includes talent from Chicago and local actors, some of whom perform with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks.

After nearly two years away, actors are returning to the stage at the Ellen Theatre in Bozeman for Charles Dickens’ holiday classic, "A Christmas Carol."

Performances begin Friday. The story — for those who aren't familiar — follows miserly businessman Ebenezer Scrooge as he's visited by four ghosts, who prompt him to change his ways.

Ellen Theatre executive director John Ludin isn't giving away any surprises, but he says this year the ghosts are presented differently.

“It can’t be some little friendly Kasper who says ‘Oh, by the way, you need to change your life,'" Ludin said. "[Scrooge] is kind of rattled to his core by these spirits, and so with music and with the way that the ghosts are done we kind of shake it up a little bit in that regard."

Shows were canceled last year because of COVID-19. Ludin says after a two-year break he's looking forward to welcoming Bozeman back to the theater.

“I absolutely love to see how an audience reacts, and in this case, how kids react to this show," he said. "It is really what makes theater such ... an invigorating art form."

There are 12 upcoming performances of "A Christmas Carol" at the Ellen Theatre.

Olivia Weitz covers Bozeman and surrounding communities in Southwest Montana for Yellowstone Public Radio. She has reported for Northwest News Network and Boise State Public Radio and previously worked at a daily print newspaper. She is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound and the Transom Story Workshop.